Wednesday, February 18, 2015

C's Options at the Deadline: Dragic vs. Thomas, Ainge vs. McDonough

Danny Ainge may be calling in yet another favor from an old friend, as rumors have emerged about the Celtics apparent interest in the Goran Dragic sweepstakes.  Suns GM Ryan McDonough, and former assistant GM under Ainge in Boston could be working out a trade for the disgruntled point guard.

Dragic’ camp has leaked news that he will not re-sign with the Phoenix Suns next year, which diminishes all leverage McDonough had in dangling Dragic for a huge return. 

Initial reports were and potential All-Star caliber player and a first round pick, but now since Dragic is all but done in a Suns uniform Ainge could sweep in offer a combination of picks and an expiring contract.  He'd walk away with a point guard for the playoff run that made the All-NBA 3rd team last season.

Dragic has struggled this season opposed to his career year last season, seeing a decline in minutes, points, rebounds, and assists.  Most have attributed the decline to the 3-headed point guard monster the suns have created with Eric Bledsoe and newly acquired Isiah Thomas (more about him later) all vying for minutes. Yet if he was to join the Celtics, he would immediately be the number one offensive option and his numbers would surely improve.

The one thing that could hold up a potential deal in Ainge’s eyes could be the fact that Dragic is an impending unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. Would Ainge really give away multiple assets for a rental and a shot at the playoffs? This move doesn’t make the Celtics a contender this year, but it would be a nice move for the future if you could re-sign Dragic.

Let’s play hypothetical for a second. Ainge trades for Dragic gives up Bass, and two protected picks. Then re-signs Dragic to long term deal over the summer.( putting on my green sunglasses) Now, Marcus Smart and more picks could be included in a major deal for a stud, like a Demarcus Cousins. (now pre-ordering my custom Boogie Celtics Jersey) Then delve into the deep free agent class and sign  a solid player on a team friendly deal like Wesley Mathews, Tobias Harris, or even look at Eric Gordon on a smaller deal. Then you would have a legitimate Eastern Conference and possible title contender that would still have multiple assets at their disposal. (lighting a stogie Red Auerbach style) I think in just hyperventilated.

Or the more logical and likely move is for Ainge to do his best to pry Isiah Thomas away from McDonough and the Suns for a future first and keep the core intact and give the offense another weapon. Thomas is in the first year of a 4 year 27  million dollar deal, and with more playing time has shown he can be a viable offensive threat.  Also Danny Ainge had reached out to Thomas about joining the C’s last summer so the interest is definitely there. The latest reports do speculate that the Celtics are still interested in Thomas as well, so it will be fun to watch the developments over the next few days.

Either one of these moves would improve the Celtics immediately, and could have a positive effect on the long term rebuilding project that has slowly been on the uptick as of late. Thursdays deadline is less than 48 hours away and it seems a move by the Suns is imminent.  Hopefully, Ainge has a few more favors to cash in with his old friend Ryan McDonough and the last deal for Brandon Wright wasn’t the only deal to be done. I do know one thing though, Danny is not afraid to ask.  

-Sean Dutra
@seandutra on twitter.

No comments:

Post a Comment